The use of electronic alerts in primary care computer systems to identify the excessive prescription of short-acting beta2-agonists for people with asthma: a systematic review.
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NPJ Prim Care Respir Med
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Computers are increasingly used to improve prescribing decisions in the management of long-term conditions however the effects on asthma prescribing remain unclear. We aimed to synthesise the evidence for the use of computerised alerts that identify excessive prescribing of short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs) to improve asthma management for people with asthma. MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane and Scopus databases (1990-2016) were searched for randomised controlled trials using electronic alerts to identify excessive prescribing of SABAs for people with asthma in primary care. Inclusion eligibility, quality appraisal (Cochrane risk of bias tool) and data extraction were performed by two independent reviewers. Findings were synthesised narratively. A total of 2035 articles were screened and four trials were eligible. Three studies had low risk of bias: one reported a positive effect on our primary outcome of interest, excessive SABA prescribing; another reported positive effects on the ratio of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)-SABA prescribing, and asthma control; a third reported no effect on outcomes of interest. One study at high risk of bias reported a reduction in exacerbations and primary care consultations. There is some evidence that electronic alerts reduce excessive prescribing of SABAs, when delivered as part of a multicomponent intervention in an integrated health care system. However due to the variation in health care systems, intervention design and outcomes measured, further research is required to establish optimal design of alerting and intervening systems.
AuthorsMcKibben, S; De Simoni, A; Bush, A; Thomas, M; Griffiths, C
- Population Health